Observing Systems Council (OSC)

Terms of Reference

Observing Systems Council

The Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division (hereafter referred to as “OOMD”) sits under NOAA/OAR’s Climate Program Office (CPO).OOMD’s mission is to provide high-quality long term global observations, climate information, and products to researchers, forecasters, and other users to inform and prepare society for environmental challenges

The Observing Systems Council (hereafter referred to as “The Council”) is established to provide individual comments on OOMD science opportunities and strategies (hereafter referred to as “the Program”) concerning contributions to, and development of, the international global climate observing system; and concerning effective ways for the Program to respond to the long-term observational requirements of international and national research programs, forecast centers, and major scientific assessments. The Council generally meets twice a year (in person and via teleconferences) to permit its individual members to:

  • Exchange information about the Program in the context of NOAA’s overarching mission requirements, of other national and international requirements, and of other national and international contributions to the global climate observing system;
  • Exchange information about the Program accomplishments and advances in developing, sustaining and integrating the global climate observation system, and provide individual comment on future plans of specific observing system Program elements and activities;
  • Provide individual comment to the Program on priorities for sustaining and enhancing components of the global climate observing system;
  • Provide individual comment on current and future capabilities of the observing community and on future Program risks and opportunities;
  • Provide individual comments to the Program on the balance of activities, potential efficiencies and synergy across its activities; discuss realignment of activities; and discuss entirely new activity areas, as appropriate, to satisfy the evolving requirements for ocean observations and information;
  • Provide individual comment on strategic opportunities, coordination, and engagement of the program with its parent organizations (e.g. CPO, OAR), other programs within NOAA, and other agencies and programs.
  • Provide individual comment to the Program on its strategy for data management, including meeting lifecycle data management requirements as documented by the NOAA Environmental Data Management Committee (EDMC) Procedural Directives, the NOAA Plan for “Increasing Public Access to Research Results (PARR)”, and other related NOAA data management policies.
  • Allow individuals to comment on Program outreach, communications, and management activities;
  • Exchange information aboutnational and international needs and activities and their implications;
  • Provide a forum for information exchange and comments from individuals from national and international programs and activities requiring, integrating, and/or contributing to the implementation of the global climate observing system.

At no time will the Council provide consensus advice to NOAA.Its role will be strictly limited to exchanging information and creating a forum for the provision of individual advice.The meetings of the OSC will be announced on the OOM website and in the Federal Register.The meetings minutes will be available upon request.

Composition:

The Council is comprised of representatives from the ocean observing and monitoring community as well as users of the system, both internal and external to NOAA

Governance:

Members will be selected and serve at the pleasure of OOM Division Chief with formal invitation by the Climate Program Office (CPO) Director. The will consult with the OOMD Director, CPO Director, and Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric (OAR) Assistant Administrator. A chair will be identified by the Program in consultation with OSC members.

Conflicts of Interest:

At no time will a Council Member provide individual advice about an activity for which he/she receives OOMD funds.

Remuneration:

Council members shall not be compensated for their time spent on Council activities; but eligible members will be reimbursed for allowable travel and incidental costs associated with Council meetings and activities as permitted under 5 U.S.C5703 et seq.

Current Membership

Name

Affiliation

Greg Johnson-co-chair

NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Lab

Molly Baringer-co-chair

NOAA/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meterological Lab

Robert Weller

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Kevin Trenberth

NCAR

Martin Visbeck

GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel

Eric Lindstrom

NASA

Gabe Vecchi

Princeton University

Arun Kumar

NOAA/CPC

Sarah Gille

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Contact the OOMD Division Chief

Executive Assistant, OOMD, Riverside Technology, Inc.
P: 301-427-2466
E: monica.morales@noaa.gov

Program Support, Riverside Technology, Inc.
P: 301-427-2461
E: claudia.perez@noaa.gov

Contact OCO

Dr. James Todd
Program Manager, OceanSITES 
P: 301-734-1258
F: 301-427-0033
E: james.todd@noaa.gov

Dr. Sid Thurston
Program Manager of International Development
P: 301-427-2459
F: 301-427-0033
E: sidney.thurston@noaa.gov

Tony Perry III LCDR
P: 301-427-2465
E: tony.perry.iii@noaa.gov

Dr. Kathy Tedesco (UCAR)
Program Manager, 
Ocean Climate Observations
P: 301-427-2462
E: kathy.tedesco@noaa.gov

Dr. Emily Smith
Program Manager, GLOSS and Communications Specialist
P: 301-427-2463
E: emily.smith@noaa.gov

Dr. Shelby LaBuhn (Knauss Fellow)
P: 301-427-2473
E: shelby.laBuhn@noaa.gov

Contact Arctic Research

Dr. Emily Osborne
Knauss Fellow
P: 301-427-2467
E: emily.osborne@noaa.gov

ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION

Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.

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